Candidate Pools & Proactive Recruiting

What Gen Z Wants from Your Company

Generation Z is entering the workforce. Where should you focus to recruit and retain them?

A recent survey from Door of Clubs, an online platform connecting student clubs and companies, offers insight.

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Door of Clubs surveyed 5,000 Gen Zers who will soon be entering the workforce from more 100 universities across the country, including Carnegie Mellon, Harvard, Boston College, Notre Dame, Northeastern, University of Georgia, San Jose State University, Seattle University, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Arizona State University-Tempe, Morehouse College, University of Illinois-Chicago, and many others.

Indeed, the shift from Millennials to Gen Zers has already taken place. The company notes that this past summer marked the first time that the majority of students graduating and entering the workforce is now from Generation Z, as opposed to the Millennial generation.

Candidate Attraction: What Benefits Matters Most

Forget fluff. When it comes to employee benefits, Gen Z is highly focused on practical matters. A full 37.7 percent of survey respondents say health care is the top benefit consideration when evaluating a potential job. Mentorship is a close second, with 33.3 percent of Gen Zers citing it as the top consideration. By contrast, only 5.5 percent of Gen Z consider beer/food cart a priority.

Interesting, time off is ranked as the top consideration by only 13.5 percent of respondents, and remote work is a priority for only 10.1 percent of Gen Zers.

Employee Retention: Where to Focus

Yet, while benefits packages weigh heavily in candidate attraction, benefits are not enough to keep Gen Zers for the long term. When asked, “What would make you stay at a job for more than three years?” only 11.6 percent of survey respondents say benefits package.

Similarly, high salaries/raises is ranked as the top priority for only 15.3 percent of respondents, while personal relationships with coworkers is the primary consideration for only 15.5 percent of Gen Zers.

Instead, 29.4 percent of survey respondents say empowering work culture is their priority, while 28.2 percent are focused on growth potential/promotions.

Corporate Culture: Supporting Causes

Generation Z is also interested in making a difference. When asked what causes they would like to see employers support, 36.3 percent of survey respondents say equality is the most important.

Door of Clubs points out that this is not surprising, given that Gen Z is the most racially diverse generation in history and that they are most likely to say they have friends of a different sexual orientation.

Equality is followed by health, at 19.2 percent; the environment at 19.1 percent; students at 15.4 percent; and poverty at 10 percent.

On the Move

The majority of survey respondents, 88 percent, is willing to relocate for a career opportunity.

One-third (33.8 percent) say they would relocate for a full-time job; 22.6 percent say they would relocate for an internship; and 31.5 percent say they would relocate for both. Only 12.1 percent say they would relocate for neither.


Survey findings strongly suggest that Generation Z is practical and willing to work to hard to achieve their goals. Their expectations of the workplace, and the employment experience, appear to be realistic. What’s more, the survey finds no sense of entitlement.

Employers that deliver on this generation’s modest requirements will likely get as much, if not more, than they give.

Paula Paula Santonocito, Contributing Editor for Recruiting Daily Advisor, is a business journalist specializing in employment issues. She is the author of more than 1,000 articles on a wide range of human resource and career topics, with an emphasis on recruiting and hiring. Her articles have been featured in many global and domestic publications and information outlets, referenced in academic and legal publications as well as books, and translated into several languages.